Concert Reviews

Photo: Craig Fuller
La cambiale di matrimonio (The Marriage Contract) was the 18-year-old Rossini’s second opera, but his first to be staged (in 1810) since the earlier Demetrio e Polibio didn’t receive its premiere until 1812....
Photo: Russell Duncan
Opera Rara is justly noted for its revival of rare nineteenth-century repertoire particularly, as here, when presented in a new critical edition of the score. In this case Donizetti’s relatively...
Photo: Chris Lee
The evening opened on a somber note, with a tenderly rendered account of Eduard Resatsch’s arrangement of Valentin Silvestrov’s a cappella Prayer for Ukraine, now often performed worldwide to express solidarity with...
Photo: Chris Lee
Fifty-five years after its only previous appearance at Carnegie Hall, the Helsinki Philharmonic returned, with a Finnish program, opening with a rousing rendition of ‘Lemminkäinen’s Return’, the final movement of...
Photo: curtisbrown.co.uk
This London premiere run of Conor Mitchell’s Abomination – ‘fusing opera with drag, cabaret and political satire’ in the Southbank Centre’s accurate description – coincides mordantly with Charles III’s Coronation festivities. This...
The Hanseatic port-city of Bremen is an intricacy of surviving antiquity and post-1945 modern, the fifteenth-century barrelled wine cellars and tavern of the Ratskeller a stone's throw from the twenty-first-century...
Photo: Chris Lee
This chronological program opened with a bravura account of Bach. Abounding in unanticipated twists and turns, tempo changes and modulations, it is one of the composer’s most virtuosic and dramatic...
This LPO concert was titled ‘Music from the Shadows’, and Klaus M­äkelä steered the orchestra through big works written between 1910 and 2016, all of them tonal, melodic and traditionally...
Photo: Nikola J Lund
The Iceland Symphony Orchestra’s appearance at the Anvil completed its seven-concert tour of the UK under its energetic new chief conductor Eva Ollikainen. There was warmth to the strings, a distinctive woodwind...
Photo: Fadi Kheir
In this gently unfolding recital, Emanuel Ax offered deeply moving music, flowing naturally without affectation, opening with Schubert’s three-movement winsomely charming Sonata in A, credibly dated 1819, the year in which...
Photo: Zoe Martin
Jeanine Tesori and Tazewell Thompson’s opera Blue was commissioned in 2015 by the Glimmerglass Festival and premiered there in 2019. Although the Black Lives Matter movement had already been in existence for...
Photo: Fadi Kheir
This Sibelius-themed program opened with a radiant interpretationof Sibelius’s rarely heard Luonnotar, one of his many works based on the Kalevala, Finland’s national epic poem. Singing in Finnish, and in...
Photo: Fadi Kheir
Dawn was the unifying theme for the first of the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s two Carnegie Hall appearances this season. Alborada del gracioso (the fourth movement of Ravel’s five-part piano cycle...
Photo: Marc Brenner
Mathilda du Tillieul McNicol’s new production of this rarity continues Royal Opera’s presentation of various stage-works by Handel that were premiered at its eighteenth-century predecessor at Covent Garden. The 1736-37...
Photo: Chris Lee
Back in Carnegie Hall after four years, Gianandrea Noseda and the National Symphony Orchestra [Washington D.C.] opened with ‘Strands’, George Walker’s single-movement Sinfonia No.4, co-commissioned by the NSO in 2012,...
The legend of Sweeney Todd first appeared in a ‘penny dreadful’ serial, called The String of Pearls, between 1846 and 1847, and whilst still running was quickly adapted for the stage...
Photo: roh.org.uk
Kaija Saariaho’s keenly awaited new opera was first seen at Aix-en-Provence in 2021 and now receives its debut in the UK. Its concept of an unwelcome guest or visitor at...
Along with his contemporaries Bernardo Pasquini and the rather younger Alessandro Scarlatti – and although less prolific than them – Stradella stands at a transitional period in the history of...
Photo: wigmore-hall.org.uk
Two Piano Quintets here. culminating in César Franck’s – though both are so emotionally charged that it could have been the other way around – suggesting that this concert may have...
Photo: Chris Lee
One night after its world premiere at home in Verizon Hall, the Philadelphia Orchestra brought John Luther Adams’s timely Vespers of the Blessed Earth to Carnegie Hall. Due to Illness,...
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